Gustav-Adolf-Werk

This project of the German Evangelical Church, known until 1946 as Gustav-Adolf-Verein, originated in 1832 with G. Grossman of Leipzig who envisaged a living memorial to King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. It was popularized by R. Zimmermann in Darmstadt from 1841. Its purpose was to help Protestants in predominantly Roman Catholic areas like Bohemia, providing resources for all kinds of church buildings and activities. Since it was not exclusively Lutheran, stricter Lutherans preferred their own Lutherischen Gotteskasten. It was not a movement directed against Roman Catholicism, though it has been so interpreted. Its inspiration has been found in Galatians 6:10, and the application of the concept of the Diaspora (the dispersed people of God) to isolated groups of evangelical Christians in various kinds of alien societies, first made in 1855 by H. Rendtorff, has been influential. Since World War II, the work has been extended to cover the refugees from East Germany. A new concept of diaspora recognizes that in East Germany congregations live in the midst of Marxist atheism, and elsewhere they are scattered amid the godlessness of the world.